Peterborough Ambulance staff raise thousands to help fellow staff receive mental health help

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Putting their fears to one side East of England Ambulance staff tackled a terrifying zipwire in North Wales to raise funds to for mental health support for colleagues.

From the frontline to the zipline, Chloe Spencer and Ben Hawkins took part in their zipwire fundraiser for The Ambulance Staff Centre (TASC) on August 31, after a series of setbacks.

Sadly, Ben tested positive for Covid the day before their original zipwire date in July.

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After some rest and recuperation, nothing could stop Ben and Chloe from rearranging their fundraiser and driving to North Wales for the event.

Ben and Chloe who are part of the East of England Ambulance Service.Ben and Chloe who are part of the East of England Ambulance Service.
Ben and Chloe who are part of the East of England Ambulance Service.

The pair, who are both terrified of heights, faced a zipwire that is 222 metres high.

All buckled up, both took on the mammoth task and flew down the wire as it reached speeds of 118mph, and went from 0-60mph in less than 10 seconds.

Ben Hawkins (23) said: "For me it was absolutely horrendous! Driving up to the mountain in a very old truck on the edge of the mountain was scary enough. We were both feeling physically sick and it was so overwhelming. At the top we barely said anything to each other and I remember the guy throwing me off said; ‘Ben,please say something even just a hi’ but I couldn’t find the words I was so scared!"

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Acting dispatch team leader Ben, who has worked in the emergency operation centre for three years, conquering his fear of heights was worth it to help a greater cause.

Rightly proud, the pair conquered their fears in North Wales.Rightly proud, the pair conquered their fears in North Wales.
Rightly proud, the pair conquered their fears in North Wales.

He said: "Every day you have to battle fears especially in our jobs and this was just another fear we’ve accomplished to make sure ambulance staff across the country get the mental health support they need. Morale is at its lowest and these donations will support them in a time of crisis and that’s enough for us.

“We must raise money for vital causes because if we can’t help our own staff’s mental health then how can we help patients?

“We’re just incredibly thankful for everyone who’s donated."

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Prioritising their 'green family' is something that's very important to Ben and Chloe. All money raised for The Ambulance Staff Centre from their JustGiving page, goes towards helping ambulance staff with their mental and physical health. They both raised a huge £3,300 with Gift Aid which will provide much-needed support to over 50 members of staff.

Ben during his zipwire challenge.Ben during his zipwire challenge.
Ben during his zipwire challenge.

Awaiting her registration to be a fully qualified paramedic, Chloe (24) said “I was super anxious initially but after doing the smaller practice run I was so ready to take on the bigger one. The whole experience was surreal and I'm so glad we did it, I'd do it all again tomorrow.”

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